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Book of the Week: A Pick by Christian Michael Filardo


Book of the Week Book of the Week: A Pick by Christian Michael Filardo Christian Michael Filardo selects The Mechanism by Mårten Lange as Book of the Week.
The MechanismBy Mårten Lange Mack, 2017.
Christian Michael Filardo selects The Mechanism, by Mårten Lange, from Mack, as Book of the Week.

"The future is upon us. Screens surround us and everything is relentlessly documented and archived. People live on devices day in, day out, constantly monitoring their lives while they, in turn, are monitored by the world around them. In Mårten Lange’s The Mechanism Lange watches us watching ourselves. Lange captures broadcasts, satellites, computer monitors, office buildings, and the way light reflects off the metal and glass of urbanity.

At first, one might think of the work contained in The Mechanism as sterile and cold, however, Lange’s outlook on the future is not entirely humorless. The way he juxtaposes architectural giants with dumbfounded people and images of text reading “Standard Life” or “100%” with a humongous disco ball is comedic. When I look at this book, I think Lange is right. The future is both beautiful and stupid at the same time. Less ominous than the black monolith that we often associate with the hyper future, Lange’s future is simple and shiny and contains boxes and spheres, humans doing nothing, and text that makes sense while being nonsensical. Lange seems to realize the future is something we all have the ability to comprehend but have no real understanding of because it hasn’t happened yet.

I feel as though The Mechanism is Lange’s attempt to create a narrative about some sort of dystopian human future. Everything is wrong but high tech, rigid and manicured, pristine and abandoned — truly a fun and noble attempt at showing us what the future could look and feel like if we decided to make everything out of metal and all humans were mindless drones.

Ultimately, I find The Mechanism to be a compelling and amusing illustration of what could potentially be our fate — one big city, surrounded by useless infrastructure with little to do other than look at our screens into infinity" — Christian Michael Filardo

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The MechanismBy Mårten Lange Mack, 2017.
The MechanismBy Mårten Lange Mack, 2017.

Christian Michael Filardo is a Filipino American photographer, curator, and composer living and working in Santa Fe, New Mexico. This year they released their second book The Voyeur’s Gambit through Lime Lodge. Currently, they help run the gallery and performance space Etiquette and write critically for photo-eye and Phroom. Filardo is the current shipping manager at photo-eye Bookstore.

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